Kansas likely to see milder than average winter, NOAA says

Cristina Cross
October 20, 2018

If the snowfall earlier this week reminded you how much you don't like the winter cold, you may be in luck.

"From about, maybe NY and northward, that's all above a 40 percent confidence, so that's between a 40 and 50 percent chance that temperatures will be above average", says Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Maryland.

Center Deputy Director Mike Halpert said in a statement a "weak El Nino" could bring "warmer, drier conditions to parts of the North". The effect could "influence the winter season by bringing wetter conditions across the southern United States, and warmer, drier conditions to parts of the North".

It is also predicting lots of snow "for the Great Lakes states, Midwest, and central and northern New England, with the majority of it falling in January and February".

In the U.S. Winter Outlook for December through February, above-average temperatures are most likely across the northern and western U.S., Alaska and Hawaii.

The Carolinas can expect a wetter than average winter this year, according to latest seasonal forecasts. The southern states of the US, as well as those in the Mid-Atlantic, are expected to receive above-normal precipitation.

Above-average rainfall is most likely northern Florida and southern Georgia this winter.

Halpert said this El Nino is likely to be a weak one.

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The middle belt of the nation, and some of the north from California to NY, can go any which way on precipitation.

Unless frigid temps and feet of snow are your thing, there's some good news in the extended forecast.

The organization's predictive maps placed ME in a sweeping band of orange, signifying that center forecasters believe the state is among those with a 40 percent to 50 percent chance of being "warmer than normal".

The El Nino hasnt quite formed yet, but its nearly warm enough.

"All things being equal, the slight kick we get out of the climate signal does tilt things toward the warm side", Halpert said; cautioning, however, that that's not enough to outweigh other factors if they push toward cold. The winter forecast hinges predominantly on the 75 percent chance that El Niño, characterized by warming waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean, will develop in the coming months and last through the winter.

"That does not mean that below average temperatures can not occur", Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, said in a statement.

"Even on a warming planet", he said, "it doesn't mean winter goes away and it's never cold again". On Thursday, NOAA released their annual 2018-19 Winter Outlook.

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